Tools for optical simulations
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jan 47dd0df8bc fix operator test 2 years ago
examples add bloch example 2 years ago
fdfd_tools fix operator test 2 years ago
.gitignore initial development 4 years ago add license 4 years ago Add PECs/PMCs to feature list 3 years ago bump version number 2 years ago


fdfd_tools is a python package containing utilities for creating and analyzing 2D and 3D finite-difference frequency-domain (FDFD) electromagnetic simulations.


  • Library of sparse matrices for representing the electromagnetic wave equation in 3D, as well as auxiliary matrices for conversion between fields
  • Waveguide mode solver and waveguide mode operators
  • Stretched-coordinate PML boundaries (SCPML)
  • Functional versions of most operators
  • Anisotropic media (eps_xx, eps_yy, eps_zz, mu_xx, ...)
  • Arbitrary distributions of perfect electric and magnetic conductors (PEC / PMC)

This package does not provide a fast matrix solver, though by default fdfd_tools.solvers.generic(...) will call scipy.sparse.linalg.qmr(...) to perform a solve. For 2D problems this should be fine; likewise, the waveguide mode solver uses scipy's eigenvalue solver, with reasonable results.

For solving large (or 3D) problems, I recommend a GPU-based iterative solver, such as opencl_fdfd or those included in MAGMA). Your solver will need the ability to solve complex symmetric (non-Hermitian) linear systems, ideally with double precision.



  • python 3 (written and tested with 3.5)
  • numpy
  • scipy

Install with pip, via git:

pip install git+


See examples/ for some simple examples; you may need additional packages such as gridlock to run the examples.